The Lazy Caterpillow – How To Spot a Bad Worker

ugly caterpillarI was reading a story book to my son last night for bedtime, and it happened to be a book we’d never read before (thank you, library)… it was based on Proverbs 13:4


Slackers crave but have their fill of nothing,

but the hardworking desire and are completely satisfied.


The story was about 2 caterpillows (yes… cater-pillow), one that worked and finished his cocoon on time, and the other who didn’t like to work, and never finishes his cocoon.

The Lazy Caterpillow took too many long breaks, slept when he wanted to, skipped days of work, and seemed to do everything but get to the task at hand.

When he finally sees the success and payoff of the Hard-Working Caterpillow, he is shocked, then indignant!  He hates that the Hard-Working Caterpillow became a butterfly.  He declares it isn’t fair… that he’s been robbed…and tries to blame the Successful Butterfly for his laziness.

The Lazy Caterpillow then sits on a rock and (instead of working) continues to complain about his situation, and make a multitude of excuses as to why he’s not a Successful Butterfly.

I love children’s books, I love teaching my son these important biblical lessons.  There are a lot of Lazy Caterpillows out there, and yet there are also a lot of Hard-Working Caterpillows that develop into Successful Butterflies.  The moral of the story is profound.

I’ve honestly seen many Lazy Workers, and they can really drain a program or company.

How to Spot a Bad Worker:

  • They have an attitude that suggests they hate their work – or they come out and say that they hate their work
  • They take too many breaks playing on Facebook at work, sitting in their office getting nothing productive done, spending time talking to other employees for hours instead of working on projects or filing papers
  • They take advantage of company policy.  At my last workplace our team had unofficial Compensation Time that we would use.  There was an employee who was taking classes and so would leave around lunch or just after to get to class.  Eventually they stopped coming back to work altogether, and ended up working 4 to 5 hour days on their days they had class, and never coming in on weekends or in the evenings to ever make up the time lost to the company.
  • They place blame on everything and everyone but themselves… they never take responsibility for things that go wrong or responsibilities they didn’t complete.  When I started my last job, I was given multiple notebooks of records that needed to be kept for our research studies, the person who had had this responsibility before me had never completed questions and reviews of what needed to be done to make the records up to date.
  • When they do see someone successful, they are very bitter, resentful, and think the person doesn’t deserve what they are getting

How to Spot a Good Worker:

  • They have a positive attitude about their job and work, they are grateful for their responsibilities and take great pride in getting their activities done well and on time.  It’s rare to hear a Good Worker complain.
  • They don’t take many breaks – the breaks they do take are kept reasonably short so that they can return to whatever they’re working on.  If they have no particular project, a Good Worker busies themselves with getting the mundane tasks of filing records, or even starting a new project ahead of time.
  • The understand when they make mistakes, and readily admit to them.  They see any bad decisions in retrospect and think about how they would’ve handled that situation differently.  This is big for me, I can look back at a certain situation, and see where I would’ve done things differently.  A Good Worker does this all throughout their career though, constantly evaluating paths they’ve taken and mistakes they might’ve made.
  • Good Workers abide by company policy… always!  They don’t try to take advantage of the company, but actually look for ways to benefit it in the long-run.  They aren’t afraid to push their team forward and create better ways to communicate and operate so that their team can be more productive.
  • Good Workers aren’t afraid to call foul when they see it.  Although it might not always end well for the employee who confronts their boss on their not fulfilling their responsibility to clients or sponsors, it always pays off in the long-run to hold to one’s integrity.  Good Workers have integrity.


5 thoughts on “The Lazy Caterpillow – How To Spot a Bad Worker

  1. I had a policy as manager. The top 20% of my staff that made things happen got a bigger raise. The lower 20$ that were the bad workers you described got no raise. If the got mad and quit, it gave me an opportunity to upgrade my staff.

  2. i had this book and loaned it out and never got it back! do you remember the title? i’ve forgotten the title and have tried to find it since to add it back to my personal library!

  3. Pingback: Book ~ The Nineteenth of Maquerk – BlendingAme

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